It's time for Congress to require GMO labeling

by jeeg 22. July 2014 10:47
  A fight is brewing between America's consumers and the giant businesses that grow and manufacture our nation's foods. At issue is the use of so-called GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, in those foods. The fight over genetic engineering boils down to this underlying disagreement: Consumers want to know what is in the foods they are eating. They want government — either their state or, better yet, the federal government — to require growers and processors to label th... [More]

U.S. CDC says it 'may never know' how bird flu mishap occurred

by jeeg 22. July 2014 10:42
  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "may never know" how a fairly harmless form of bird flu was cross-contaminated with a dangerous bird flu strain before it was sent to a laboratory outside of the CDC, an agency spokesman said on Monday. That's because most of the materials used in the experiment to culture the virus were discarded shortly after they were used by the scientists performing the work, which occurred in March, CDC spokesman Tom Skinner told Reuters. The ... [More]

DNA and Privacy in Vermont

by jeeg 18. July 2014 18:26
  The intersection of technology and law has been the scene of numerous collisions in recent years, and often it has been unclear which had the better claim to the right of way. A sharply divided Vermont Supreme Court decided just such a case last week, ruling that the routine collection of DNA samples from defendants charged with felonies is unconstitutional. We think the outcome is right, although not all the relevant issues have been addressed. A little background is in order here. V... [More]

New Issue of GeneWatch Magazine: Ancestry and DNA

by jeeg 17. July 2014 01:30
  It’s natural to be curious about one’s family history, and curiosity is, broadly speaking, a good and healthy thing.  It’s fun to imagine discovering a surprise in your family history – and, if you find one, to imagine how it came about.  Indeed, as a source of entertainment, genetic ancestry tests are quite benign. But beyond their entertainment value, these tests are not always so innocuous, starting with the very business model of most DNA testin... [More]

CDC accused of 'dangerous pattern' of safety lapses

by jeeg 17. July 2014 01:27
  US lawmakers said on Wednesday there was evidence of a "dangerous pattern" of safety lapses at government laboratories dealing with dangerous pathogens such as anthrax and avian flu that required a change in culture at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Members of a House Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittee cited new information on breaches previously unreported by CDC, which is under scrutiny for the potential exposure of more than 80 lab workers to live ... [More]

Evanston Seeks To Stay Out Of Suit Over Posted DNA Results

by jeeg 16. July 2014 20:41
  Evanston Insurance Co. sued Gene By Gene Ltd. in Texas federal court Wednesday, challenging coverage for a proposed class action accusing the genetic testing services company of automatically publishing results on its website without getting permission from customers.      The Illinois-based insurer urged the federal court to apply an exclusion in its policy for claims based on violations of any statute that limits the transmission of information or other material.... [More]

Fertility Clinics Scan for the Strongest Embryo

by jeeg 15. July 2014 18:48
  Annika Levitt initially resisted the fertility clinic’s suggestion that only one embryo — rather than the usual two or more — be transferred to her uterus because she was too small to risk carrying more than one baby. “You go through all that and you put only one back in?” she recalled thinking, fearing it would lower her chances of becoming pregnant. But her embryos had been tested for chromosomal abnormalities, giving a fair degree of confidence that t... [More]

Second probe finds more safety lapses at CDC anthrax labs

by jeeg 15. July 2014 18:36
  A second U.S. investigation into last month’s mishandling of anthrax bacteria at federal government laboratories in Atlanta has found additional safety lapses, such as anthrax stored in unlocked refrigerators in unrestricted hallways, according to a document released Monday by a House committee. The findings by investigators from a special unit of the Agriculture Department raise additional concerns about the scope of the incident and the culture of laboratory safety at the Cent... [More]

After Lapses, C.D.C. Admits a Lax Culture at Labs

by jeeg 14. July 2014 18:25
  Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spent much of Wednesday completing a report that would let the public see, in embarrassing detail, how the sloppy handling of anthrax by scientists at its headquarters here had potentially exposed dozens of employees to the deadly bacteria. But just as he was sitting down for a late-afternoon lunch at his Washington, D.C., office, an urgent call came in. There had been another accident, this one just as... [More]

C.D.C. Closes Anthrax and Flu Labs After Accidents

by jeeg 12. July 2014 15:44
After potentially serious back-to-back laboratory accidents, federal health officials announced Friday that they had temporarily closed the flu and anthrax laboratories at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and halted shipments of all infectious agents from the agency’s highest-security labs. The accidents, and the C.D.C.’s emphatic response to them, could have important consequences for the many laboratories that store high-risk agents and the few that, eve... [More]
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